Words & Photos: Kristie GilesPark City filmmaker Justin Loeloff celebrated the world premier of his last independent Off Trail production last Friday at the University of Utah's Fine Arts Auditorium, which was quite difficult to find.  I was running late because I'd hitchhiked to the campus, and I thought it was kind of strange that live cello music was drifting from the Museum of Fine Arts.  At the entranceway, I found adults in evening dress swarming about with champagne and business cards.  They told me there was no auditorium in the building.    I started walking and came across some kids in hoodies and crocheted headbands who appeared to be equally lost.   They led me back to the museum, where we found even more people asking about the "11th Hour" premier.  The result was a sizable herd of wandering jibbers.   Not overly concerned about finding the movie in a timely fashion, they entertained themselves with a bit of freestyle walking trickery.  We eventually located the festivities, and all was well.    

Featuring the antics of Austin Ramaley, Kyler Cooley, Dylan Natale, Blake Nyman, Travis Perkins, Max and Tosh Peters, Ian Cosco, Stefan Thomas, Brandon Becker, Mickael Deschneax, John Symms, and Ty Battersby, "The 11th Hour" brought a different kind of vibe to the table.    "I think the movie is super fun," said Cooley.  "It wasn't super serious, and it wasn't like some other production company that's all about making money.   It was about making a good time look good."  And that it did.  Based out of Park City, the Off Trail team had premium resources at its disposal, including record amounts of snow.   But Loeloff also used footage from Vail, Mammoth, Norway…and, well, there's a "super secret section" on the DVD, which, according to Cooley, is dedicated to "how we do it in Salt Lake ."  Something about the 21-21 Crew.   At any rate, "The 11th Hour" stood out for its organization, which was by location, not rider.  "I wanted it to be like how it is when we're skiing," Loeloff said.   The trains were fairly impressive, and there were some entertaining shots of Cooley and Natale grabbing each other's skis.  Nyman called it "Justin's best movie yet."
 However, it was most likely also his last movie…hence the title.  Loeloff said he's over the doing-everything-by-himself-and-not-making-any-money thing--and a bit frustrated.   Lower-budget film companies like Off Trail come and go, he said, because there's such a small market for their work--even though they are important feeders of the industry's talent pool.   "Things are kind of in limbo right now," Loeloff explained.  "This year, I think I'll either be working on the Ninthward team video or filming for Tanner."   He said, though, that he could possibly find himself doing another Off Trail movie. At the premier, there was a substantial showing from the local newschool community.  We could kind of tell where all the riders were sitting because the people around them made a lot of noise every time they stomped something sick.    A few unofficial after parties followed.  Cooley broke a chair at one of them, but I don't remember exactly how it happened…because I lost at beer pong.   Most of the debauchery ultimately landed at Ty Battersby's house.  The theme of the movie ("fun") seemed to carry over.  
 "The 11th Hour" is in stores now, and additional tour stops are being planned for Mammoth, Tahoe, Missoula, and Park City.   More information can be found at http://www.offtrailproductions.com.  


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